I’ll admit it, blogging has kind of fallen off my to do list. While I’m very content with my daily life right now, it’s the same ol same ol and isn’t really interesting enough to write about. Not only that but now that i don’t have the time to blog at work it’s not something I think about doing when I finally get home. But seeing as it has been ages and I still haven’t really talked much about the new routine we’ve been in since June, I shall share 🙂
Like I mentioned in my last post, Jason and I had both just started new jobs. He is still at Cleantelligent and I am still at Central Utah Clinic. We’re both loving it! Cleantelligent has turned out to be a pleasant surprise. At first Jason and I both thought it would be a place holder until something better came along, but it really did turn into a huge blessing in disguise. As I mentioned, he splits his time between sales and media. It’s been a great balance for him. He got to design their new company website which has been a major success in driving new business for the company. He’s been successful on the sales side of things too and bringing in quite a bit of commission in each pay check witch is fantastic for us. He gets along great with his coworkers and his boss (his former home teaching companion and fellow Cub Scout person) is very understanding and accommodating with his school schedule and doctors appointments and such Jason has also gotten a lot of compliments from not only his boss but higher up with his boss’s bosses. It’s been vindicating after the last job where a lot of Jason’s hard work and efforts weren’t acknowledged. He’s gotten emails recognizing his work as well as in person compliments. It’s nice when your hard work gets noticed! Jason also got to be a part of a week long convention down in Vegas, which was a ton of work but also a big opportunity for him. Basically, Jason sees himself with this company for at least a couple more years.
As for me, Central Utah Clinic has also been fantastic. I like it a lot! Like I said, we stay busy. We have 5 people working on medical records requests for 150 doctors and around 150 PAs, NPs, etc. so about 300 providers. (I over estimated in my last post.) On an average day we get about 70 requests from other doctors offices or patients that need to be answered within 24 hours and additionally each day we also get in an average of 80 requests from insurances and law firms that need to be answered within 10=15 business days. Our phones are ringing off the hook all day and unfortunately we definitely can’t answer all of them so we generally have about 40 voice mails throughout the day to call back. Then we also have patients coming in person to our office, usually about 20 a day. Each day I’m in go-go-go! mode. I tend to be an accidental workaholic and forget to take my lunch break no earlier then 2, if I remember it at all. If I didn’t have to take my lunch break, I’d probably prefer not to (or at least a shorter one) because there’s always so much to do. But despite the constant workload, it’s very enjoyable. It’s the same daily work enough so that I don’t feel overwhelmed and confident in my abilities (I rock at my job, to be honest. Despite being here only 8 months, my numbers are typically the second highest, not far behind the girl who has been here 5 years….I’m kind of awesome.) but at the same time there’s enough variance between each case that it’s not monotonous. It’s a really good balance for me. The company is good to its employees and there are some nice benefits through them. I’m grateful to have insurance and all the random perks. The workload is perfect for my health concerns. I’m guessing I’ll stay here until I leave to become a stay at home mom. That’s the hope anyway!
Speaking about being a stay at home mom, our journey to parenthood is still marching on. I know you guys, our close readers, know that our only option to have biological children will be to pursue IVF. but we haven’t posted anything about that. This next part will be all about that and very long, so you can skip it if you’d like, since many of you already know this. To be honest, it’s not for you, it’s more for me to have a record of it somewhere. …
We got off birth control in January 2011 and started actively trying in April of 2011. When we still hadn’t conceived after a year we met with a NP at my OBGYN office. Because of my inconsistent periods, we both figured it was something on my side. We worked through the basics with the NP, she did discover I have a major Vitamin D deficiency which could affect conception and got me on prescription strength vitamin d supplements. We did some more basic things and when that didn’t work I met with a Uro-gynocologist to discuss my suspicions that I had endometriosis. He agreed with me that it was a pretty good possibility and let us know he would be willing to do a laproscopic procedure on me. He did state that typically he wouldn’t want to do that without checking the male’s sperm count first to rule out anything there but because we didn’t want to do that (Jason was uninsured at the time) and it sounded so likely that I had it he’d go ahead and do the procedure without checking Jason first. We had the procedure, I have endometriosis and cysts. The doctor scraped off and burned off as much as he could. My first period after the surgery? Um, heavenly compared to any one of them before! My cramps were sooo much better! The further we get from the surgery, the worse they get (I’m guessing the endometriosis is growing back) but they’re still so much better and less painful. Anyway, when we still didn’t get pregnant post surgery we kept trying more stuff. We did find out that I’m hypoglycemic and have Factor V Leidien, a clotting disorder. Both of those can affect conception and pregnancy. Finally, after 3 rounds of clomid (which resulted in more cysts, a rare side effect so of course I got it…ha) our doctor pretty much said we needed to bite the bullet and check out Jason’s side of things too just to rule out stuff even though he wasn’t insured. In August of 2012 we did a seaman analysis. We were absolutely shocked to hear the results–they found zero sperm. Zero. When there should be several millions. After so many things on my side of things we never imagined there would be infertility factors with BOTH of us. At that point, our wonderful, sweet obgyn let us know unfortunately there was nothing else he could do for us and that we would need to see a urologist for Jason to see what was causing the sperm issues. We met with the urologist and he let us know it could be one of 3 basic things–a hormone imbalance, a blockage, or genetics. He had us do a second seman analysis to make sure the first one wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t, So the next step was some very expensive blood tests. Since Jason still wasn’t insured, we had to wait quite a while to save money for those tests. Did I mention I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis during all this? In October 2012. That kind of put things on hold with our fertility journey as we dealt with all that. Despite that diagnosis, we didn’t want to wait to keep going to start our family. So we kept saving up for Jason’s tests. We finally got the tests done in May 2013 and they came back on the low-normal side, ruling out a hormone imbalance that would’ve been the less invasive fix. At this point the urologist informed us we’d need to consult a fertility specialist. I’d mentioned a few things to my sister about what was going on and she let us know that the Utah Fertility Clinic had let her hospital (she’s a nurse) know they were doing a free open house in June 2013, where you could come in and see their facility and chat with their doctors.We went and got to meet Dr Foulk, a talented and nation renowned fertility specialist, and chatted with him and let him know briefly our issues (his eyes got wider and wider as we kept going with our list!) He was a sweetheart and let us know he’d give us a free consultation and to come in and meet with him. While at the open house, Jason and I ran into some friends. We would never have guessed about their infertility ordeals but they opened up to us and told us about their journey and had nothing but good things to say about UFC. We felt good about it and decided to meet with Dr Foulk. At that appointment we were educated about our options. Dr. Foulk was very matter of fact to let us know that worst case scenario, we’d find out we wouldn’t be able to have kids. A heartbreaking thought. But, IF that were the case, then at least we would find out quickly without wasting money that could go towards adoption or what not. But he made it very clear that his goal for us was to do everything he could to help us have a baby. Side note, we did finally have insurance for both of us but now of course insurance won’t cover infertility stuff because it’s “elective” to have a baby when we’re technically healthy without one. Ugh. Anyway, Dr. Foulk did more labs on Jason, showing that genetically everything was fine. There was no obvious blockages so in July 2013 a procedure was done on Jason. Basically, they poked needles around through his epedidmis to determine if there was sperm there. Nothing was found. So after the needles, Jason got to have a biopsy…Dr. Foulk described it as taking an ear punching gun and using that on the testicles to punch out a sample. Ouch. To say the least. Poor Jason! But while we were there (yes, Jason was awake because we chose to save our money for the anesthesia, but he was numbed down…poor guy. And Dr. Foulk let me stay in the room during the procedure, which was nice of him) they did a quick evaluation of the testicular tissue. They found TWO sperm. Still mind blowing to hear that, again, where there should be millions…but Dr. Foulk was very pleased by that because it shows that Jason is and can produce sperm, even if it’s so low. That means there’s the potential of upping those numbers and puts us in a better place then if they had found nothing. They sent that off to the lab and in August 2013 we came back and met with Dr. Foulk to discuss the results. At the early stage of Jason’s life, very possibly before he was even born and while he was still in the womb, his testicles didn’t descend when they should and caused a lot of heat and issues that led to fibrous scar tissue. Though they did get to where they needed to be, that scar tissue is now causing problems with his sperm. It’s a fluke condition that’s not inherited or anything. Awesome, right? What that means is our only option is IVF. And not just regular IVF, but ICSI IVF. If we want to have children that are biologically Jason’s and mine, we will need to pump Jason full of hormones to boost his sperm count, hopefully to be in the 2,000 range. That would hopefully be enough to get us pregnant but definitely not enough to try and leave to chance to get pregnant through natural conception. What they would do is extract the sperm and implant them one by one into the my eggs, which is what the ICSI part of IVF is, the one by one implantation instead of throwing the sperm into a petree dish and adding the eggs and letting the sperm find their way to the eggs. That would be using regular IVF too where they would pump me full of meds to make me produce a ton of eggs in one month (like, 10-40 instead of the regular one a month), knock me out to collect all the eggs, go do their thing with the sperm, and then plant them back in me and hope they implant. Wow. What a lot of information to absorb and consider. And then the logistics! The only thing that could possibly be covered by insurance would be the medicines. Not the procedure itself. We met with their billing person and crunched the numbers…without the medicines being covered, with procedures, labs, anesthesia, etc….we’re looking at $15,000-$18,000. Ouch. And unfortunately, that amount of money is not a guarantee that it would work! Because we’re so young, our odds are much higher that it will be successful. Jason and I are striving to be optimistic. A lot of people spend thousands trying things that lead up to IVF that are unsuccessful and then finally get to IVF and have already wasted quite a bit of money. Since my procedure was covered by insurance, we really only spent a little over a grand in stuff for Jason. Which yes, is a lot of money for us, but it’s not $6,000 trying IUI or whatever and then the $15,000 on top of it. So that’s a good thing. But it’s terrifying… We’re looking at our options. Basically, we can save up for a few years, get loans that will double our debt of what we have in just student loans already, or try to get grants/donations from fertility foundations. Basically, we’ve decided we’re done waiting…yes we could save for a few years but we’ve already been trying for 3 years. We want a baby. So we decided that we’d look into grants and stuff and if those didn’t pan out, we’re meeting with loan people in January. So we participated in two races that were raffling off free or half off IVFs. We weren’t really expecting to win but hey, why not? Between those two events we got to witness 13 couples get a miracle handed to them so they can start their families. Even though it wasn’t us, those events were extremely powerful and touching to see the hope and joy for those couples. In November we also applied for a grant that had a panel of people look through the applications and make their decision. In November we also heard officially from our insurance that Jason’s medicines will not be covered. So we need $2,000-$3,000 just to start the process with his medicines. We heard back from the foundation that we did not get the grant. Again, disappointing but not unexpected. With that one I was reminded of what a gracious and wonderful man I married. He didn’t know I would know but he sent an email back to the grant people and just thanked them for the opportunity and even though it couldn’t be us we’re happy for whoever it is who gets to have a baby now, stuff like that. The foundation emailed back and thanked Jason for his kind words, as other people have not been nearly as nice or understanding about how tough their decision was. Just another reminder of how awesome my husband is.
As you can imagine, the last couple of years have been hard in many ways. We’ve had more health hurtles in the last couple of years then most people have in a lifetime. It’s difficult, I won’t lie. I find myself having pity parties constantly. But I try to stay positive. I try to be more like Jason and focus on the many blessings we’ve experienced. All these trials have shown me what kind of marriage we have. It’s taught me more about us as individuals. It’s teaching us to have faith and rely on the Lord. I will admit I personally have discovered I could be doing a lot more in those areas. I know that we have both been promised in several ways that we will be parents here in this life. I know that Heavenly Father will keep His promises if I keep mine. I know it will happen. But I have a hard time being patient and dealing with so much unkown of when and how. We’re trying to make the most of this time with just the two of us though. We’re trying to prepare our home to be where we want to be spiritually when our little ones arrive in our family. We’re trying to go to the temple weekly and we’ve gone to to the temple more in the last 6 months then probably the first 4 years of our marriage. We’re trying to have better habits for our spiritual and physical health. We’re trying to recognize the many other blessings in our life that we’re overlooking because of our trials. Our jobs, especially Jason’s. If things hadn’t worked out the way they had, Jason wouldn’t be at Cleantelligent where his income is more then at his previous jobs, allowing us to actually save money for the IVF. We also have our home, our cat, our family and friends–so many blessings we take for granted. And yes, the MS sucks in the midst of all this, but at least I can get that under control and know about it before I get pregnant. We’re trying to focus on things like that.
We had another large and wonderful blessing a few weeks ago. A very generous secret santa left us a lovely note and a present in our mailbox. The note was so sweet and their gift left us bawling a little bit. With their gift along with our savings from the last few months may make it so we can get Jason’s medication this month before we get the loan in January, which would help with our timeline. We’re still figuring that out so it might not play out that way, but regardless. that secret santa was ridiculously generous and helped be a stepping stone to get started. However it works out, we’re very hopeful that this time next year we will have a little one to share our life with.